Still winless from the last four encounters, India get back to where it all began.
A day prior to the Russia 2018 World Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification Preliminary Round 2 away match against Oman, Stephen Constantine’s boys look back to their first match in the Group stage in Bengaluru where they narrowly went down 1-2 after a brave performance, that too with a goal being disallowed.
“We obviously take confidence from that game. But at that time we were playing at home and now we are playing away. We are yet to garner points and definitely want to change the trend,” Captain Sunil Chhetri maintained at the Official pre-match Press Conference at the City Seasons Hotel in Muscat.
“We aim to keep all the negatives away and not project it as a reason as to why we are weak,” he added.
“It will be a very difficult match for us. Oman are one of the most underrated teams and most importantly, they know to play football,” Head Coach Stephen Constantine, sitting next, stated.
“Motivation isn’t a problem ever,” he added. “Your friends and family watch you when you play for the National Team. The desire of representing your country is always there,” he quipped.
However, Constantine wasn’t willing to reflect much on the 24-hour delay in reaching Muscat from Ashgabat. “It’s not the best preparation as we go into the match, but again, it is what it is.”
“There are some players in the Oman side who are really good. Over the years, Oman have stayed consistent and to me their result against Iran wasn’t surprising at all,” the National Coach certified.
Meanwhile Eugeneson Lyngdoh has been ruled out for the match, courtesy a double booking.
“We have respect for Oman but we are here to play and we will fight. We didn’t come here to lose. We don’t go anywhere to lose.”
“I have been here for seven games and am trying to build a Team for the next 5 years as it was necessary to induce new blood,” Constantine told www.the-aiff.com.
“It’s understandable that people want instant success and would be tempted back to go back to my previous stint when I was a Coach. But that was a different era,” Constantine had stated a day earlier on the sidelines of the Team’s first of the two practice sessions.
“We lost three matches with the same margin, 1-2 and that suggests that we are close.”
The match at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Tuesday (October 13) kicks-off at IST 8pm.
Courtesy: Press Release
Media Department, AIFF.